Treating refractory epilepsy in adults

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 13 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:912

We made some last minute page changes to this editorial by Edward Reynolds to keep the editorials section within the required number of pages that week (BMJ 2006;332:562-3, 11 Mar). Unfortunately, this led to some weakening of the author's arguments. The following sentence should be reinstated after the first sentence of the article: “Before the 1970s such patients were invariably treated with polytherapy, often with combined capsules of phenobarbital and phenytoin.” A further sentence should be reinstated after the second sentence of the final paragraph: “The priority of industry is the marketing of new drugs by short term, placebo controlled trials that show efficacy without unacceptable toxicity to the satisfaction of regulatory and licensing authorities.” And the final sentence of the article should have continued, “especially as the NICE guidelines suggest that claims that the newer drugs are associated with a better quality of life rest on weak or inadequate evidence.8

Unrelated to the above editorial cuts, we also failed to publish the following competing interests statement that the author had already supplied to us: “I undertook clinical studies of monotherapy and polytherapy in newly diagnosed and refractory patients in the 1970s and 1980s for which I received funding from the Medical Research Council and several pharmaceutical companies.”


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